The Union Budget 2022 announcement of giving data centres infrastructure status and making them eligible for related incentives and funding is strategic move to ensure data localisation, said a top executive of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). HPE is currently in advanced talks with two large service providers and two data centre hosts to deploy its GreenLake infrastructure solutions for major data centre projects.

Speaking to BusinessLine, Som Satsangi, Managing Director – India, HPE said, “You need to understand why this emphasis on data centres by the Finance Minister. The government is also saying that you can’t take customer and citizen’s data outside the country. That’s why companies like Visa and Mastercard are trying to bring massive infrastructure in the country as they have to do it. Even some of the cloud service providers have started bringing data centre infrastructure to India as they cannot take data outside the country.”

He added, “We feel data is growing the fastest. Today, Gartner is saying that we are only using and accessing 6 per cent of the total data generated by the enterprises. That’s why the finance minister said that we need to add more data centres in the country. If you want to build a HPC (high performance computing) cluster, large infrastructure for R&D and innovation for the government, how will you do that unless you have right data centre?”

According to Satsangi, such developments are only going to help companies like HPE, which is into providing data centre infrastructure building solutions through GreenLake, that includes deploying storage devices and hardware as well among other software solutions. The budget announcement had led to several companies starting to work on new data centre projects within the country.

We are already in advanced talks with two large service providers and two data centre hosts on how we can partner with them and create their future journeys. We help building data centres, through our offerings. We have telecom companies, banks and government companies as customers,” he said.

Distributed data centres

HPE is closely working with all the key telecom companies in the country, whom it has helped in ramping up 4G deployment in remote areas during Covid. Next up, the company is working on their 5G expansion plans ahead of the possible spectrum auction to be held this year.

“We have partnered with all telecom operators on their 4G roll out, now we are working with them on their 5G expansion plans, on how they can be ahead of the curve before the spectrum auction is finalised. These companies are looking to build a disruptive technology beforehand to enable IoT and blockchain use cases through 5G network. We are working on multiple areas with our customers to help them on their transformation journey,” Satsangi said.

He added, “5G is going to disrupt all automobile, manufacturing and ancillary units. We are going to bring AI & ML on shop floor and that will need massive compute in real time environment. With the telecoms, we will be able to take real time decisions on Edge computer. With the 5G roll out, our customers will start having distributed data centres instead of centralised data centres. We are working proactively with telcos. Also, manufacturing companies on how they can integrate 5G in their operations.”

Distributed data centres, he said, can be enabled through Edge computers which can be installed anywhere and doesn’t need a fixed data centre to gather and process information. With Edge computer, HPE will be able to gather data directly from the source or sensors in real time. Adding 5G to it, will make decision making more agile and real time without needing too much human intervention.